Mysore, June 14 (JP)- "India’s contribution to science in the world is less than two per cent and this is lamentable," said Dr. C. N. R. Rao, National Research Professor and President, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore.

He was delivering the JSS Mahavidyapeetha’s third Golden Jubilee Memorial Lecture on the topic, "India as a global leader in Science: A vision for India" at Rajendra Auditorium of JSS Pharmacy College in Shivarathreeshwaranagar here this morning.

"Can we call ourselves a global scientific power? We are on the way to becoming an economic power, but I am afraid we are woefully short when it comes to scientific power. In the entire country we produce less that 6000 PhDs a year when compared to 20,000 in China. Even a country like Brazil produces more than 12,000 PhDs a year," he said.

Referring to recent reports from think-tanks in the USA and the UK, which had predicted that the future threat to the number one place held by USA lay in the direction of China followed by India, Dr. Rao said that the Obama administration had recently brought out a book 'Gathering Storm' where it was predicted the present ranking of USA followed by Europe, UK, China and India would be changed with China taking the top place followed by India.

"We have very good institutions like the IITs, IISc and a few centres of excellence, but they are not paragons of qualitative excellence," he said.

"They do not come anywhere near the excellence of say Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, Berkeley, Purdue, Caltech (California Institute of Technology) or MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) . Our centres of excellence do not even find a place in the top 100 institutions in the world," he said.

"Our scholars are lax in producing research papers even in the well-known centres of excellence. For every one paper produced by a single faculty, there will be a few hundred published in any one of the Universities that I mentioned," said Dr. Rao.

Commenting on the Universities in India, Dr. Rao said "they are unfit to be educational institutions." Calling for structural changes, he said there should be mandatory peer review among Universities and added that mediocrity should be replaced with meritocracy.

Earlier, after an invocation by Nitin Rajaram Shastri, Prof. M.H. Dhananjaya, Director (Technical), JSS Mahavidyapeetha, in his welcome address traced the growth of JSS institutions and the institution of the Golden Jubilee Lectures.

Prof. K. Siddappa, Director, JSS Science and Social Foundation, Bangalore, introduced Dr. C.N.R. Rao.

Sri Shivarathri Desikendra Swamiji of Suttur Mutt graced the occasion. CFTRI Director Dr. V. Prakash presided.

In the interaction with the audience, Dr. C.N.R. Rao, in reply to a question, said "We have a tendency to waste time on small things. A scientist in the lab will be more worried about lack of drinking water and he will waste precious days about this doing no work on his research."

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore